Submission Details

Entry Criteria

Clearly identify and address an infrastructure issue, large or small, either physical or social, where using architectural thinking can advance insight and innovation.

The idea should be:

  • relevant;
  • socially innovative;
  • inspirational;
  • promote social change; and
  • empower public well-being.

Submissions will be evaluated for their ability to:

  • capture the public imagination;
  • express innovation and creativity;
  • demonstrate thoughtfulness and inclusiveness;
  • inspire new ways of thinking;
  • address the challenge in a substantial way; and
  • illustrate their capacity to bring the project’s guiding principles to life.


Submissions must be made by an OAA member who has status with the Association (see below).

While submissions by teams of individuals from diverse professional backgrounds are encouraged, the team lead (i.e. spokesperson) must be an OAA member.

  • Individuals

    Individuals are those who have status with the OAA, including:

    • architects;
    • retired architects;
    • Licensed Technologists OAA;
    • non-practising architects;
    • intern architects; and
    • student associates.
  • Teams

    Teams must be headed by an individual of any status with the OAA as leader and spokesperson for the team. Team members may include diverse individuals from the design community and beyond (e.g. community activists, politicians, subject matter experts, group or institutional representatives, etc.), and/or OAA practices.

  • Ineligible

    The SHIFT Infrastructure/Architecture Challenge is not open to current members of the OAA Council, Awards Steering Committee and SHIFT Task Group, or practices in which these individuals are owners, principals, associates and/or employees.

Submission Requirements

Illustrate the issue and application of architectural thinking with text (maximum 5000 words) and images (maximum of 14 visuals, drawings and/or photos), as required. Submissions may choose the elements best-suited to present their ideas. Physical models, prototypes or installations must be photographed.

A video (maximum length of three minutes) must be uploaded for all submissions. This is your opportunity to concisely explain directly to the jury the infrastructure issue your submission has identified and how your proposal addresses the issue. Your “elevator pitch” to the jury, this video should provide an overview of the submission, the content and the thesis of the issue.

Please note: the video will not be evaluated for its production quality, but is an introduction of the idea directly to the jury members. This is not final video content for public viewing.

Submissions are to be submitted using the SHIFT Online Submission Form by January 18, 2019.

Jury and Judging Criteria

The jury will include a diverse mix of professionals who deeply understand the profession of architecture, the relevant issues, and media and communications. The jury will reflect diversity with respect to gender, geographical location within Ontario and age.

For example, the jury could include:

  • practitioners;
  • subject matter experts;
  • academics;
  • students/interns; and
  • policy-makers.


Does the project defy convention and push thinking forward in a creative and original fashion?

Social Responsibility

Does the project promote values of social responsibility, human rights and sustainability?


Does the project spark new ideas and capture the public imagination, taking into consideration the quality of its visual materials and public-facing communication?


Does the project promote a spirit of inclusiveness, situating architects as master collaborators?

Holistic Approach

Does the project represent a programmatic solution that goes beyond the built form, taking into consideration economic, sociological and ecological factors as well?

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